Quantitative and Qualitative: An Interactive Framework

HRDR_72ppiRGB_150pixWThe quantitative-qualitative debate has been revisited countless times, but a new article in Human Resource Development Review explains that the two approaches have more in common than you might think–and advocates the need for more methodological diversity in social science research. John H. Hitchcock of Ohio Univerty, Athens, and Isadore Newman of Florida International University published “Applying an Interactive Quantitative-Qualitative Framework: How Identifying Common Intent Can Enhance Inquiry” on October 17, 2012 in the OnlineFirst section of HRDR. Dr. Hitchcock and Dr. Newman kindly provided these responses about their article.

What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

We were inspired to pursue this topic by our commitment to teaching research.  It seemed obvious to us that good research is good research, and there is an overarching commonality that is inherent in all good research, and that is its trustworthiness (credibility, transparency) and its replicability. This is generally true for both qualitative and quantitative paradigms.  We feel it is important for people doing research to be aware of this and to consider research as an interactive continuum with feedback.

How do you see this study influencing future research and/or practice?

We are hoping to influence the teaching of research.  We believe this conceptualization of research as a holistic interactive process is much more productive and useful than a dichotomous – qualitative-quantitative perspective.

John H. Hitchcock is an associate professor of education research and program evaluation in the Patton College of Education and Human Services at Ohio University. He has coauthored more than 20 scholarly publications and was a coprincipal investigator of two federally funded randomized controlled trials. His primary interests are in mixed-methods research, program evaluation, culturally relevant intervention and assessment, and special education research.

Isadore Newman is the visiting scholar for the College of Education at Florida International University and he is a distinguished professor emeritus at the University of Akron. He has authored or coauthored more than 125 referred articles, more than 300 referred presentations, and approximately 17 books, chapters, and monographs. He was also the principal evaluator on millions of dollars in federal and state grants and was one of the founding editors of the Midwestern Educational Research Journal, editor of the Ohio Journal of Science, and was editor of Multiple Linear Regression Viewpoints Journal for 19 years.

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